Let’s talk about these easy keto-friendly instant pot Mexican carnitas tacos.
Prior to being keto or carnivore, my favorite dish was Mexican carnitas tacos. Since adopting a keto lifestyle, traditional Mexican carnitas tacos have been completely out of the question. (Mostly due to the unhealthy oils, fats and orange juice listed in most recipes.) So, I challenged myself with the task of creating my very own keto-friendly Instant Pot carnitas tacos. By the way, this recipe makes a ton of carnitas for my family of three, so feel free to modify the recipe to best suit your family’s needs.
Keto-friendly recipe alternatives
The original recipe calls for salt (on the pork) but I opted to use a Mexican seasoning blend from my local ethnic grocery store instead. Whatever you choose, just be sure it’s sugar-free.
Traditionally, the recipe asks for half a cup of milk. I opted for 1 ounce of heavy whipping cream combined with 3 ounces of water. My reasoning for this is because the whipping cream provides the high-fat content needed without the naturally occurring sugars found in whole milk.
Finally, I substituted the orange juice with the juice of a Meyer lemon. Just a heads up, this modification does have carbs. However, I felt it was a better substitute for me because it has a much lower carb and sugar content count than an orange. If you’re super strict, feel free to omit it. It’ll still be super Porky deliciousness.
- 6 pounds of pork shoulder or butt, chopped into chunks
- 1 ounce of salt or Mexican blend seasoning
- 1 and 1/2 ounces of rendered pork lard
- 1 ounce of heavy whipping cream mixed with
- 3 ounces of water
- 1/2 cup of water, maybe less
- The juice of one medium Meyer lemon
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
In a large bowl, mix the seasoning of your choice with 6 pounds of chunked pork.
Set your Instant Pot to “sauté” and allow the pot to heat up. Once it has reached its peak temperature, add 1/2 of the rendered pork lard to the bottom and allow it to heat through.
Place the seasoned pork chunks in the instant pot and brown on all sides. You may need to do this in stages so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
Once all the pork has been browned on all sides, add your Meyer lemon juice to the sleeve and turn the Instant Pot off.
Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, be sure to scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pot’s sleeve. This will avoid triggering the “burn” alert
Add the browned pork, garlic, heavy whipping cream mixture and half cup of water to the pot. Close the lid and set the timer to 40 minutes on “high” pressure. Then, do a quick release.
Remove the pork from the pot and shred or chop it up.
Pro Tip: You can save the broth for another dish that calls for pork broth.
Place the remaining pork lard in a clean instant pot sleeve* and pre-heat it using the sauté feature. Once it’s ready, place your cooked and shredded pork into the pot, creating a flat layer so that it crisps on the bottom.
Once you have that crispy bottom, your carnitas tacos are complete. Remove the meat from the pot and enjoy!
Don’t forget to scrape up all of the crispy bits to serve to your family. I also enjoy my tacos with low carb salsa, sour cream and a bit of cheese. Feel free to use a low-carb tortilla as well.
*I recommend using a nonstick pan instead of the instant pot sleeve as it eliminates the need to scrape the pan. However, I wanted to provide the option to make this a one pot meal.
Let me know how it goes in the comments below! Pop on over to my Instagram to tag me in your dish.